Before this I studied an integrated masters in physics at the University of Manchester investigating complex fluid behaviour and measurement systems in my final year. I then took a gap year in which I applied to this programme, and now I am here! I have always been motivated to find a career that works towards protecting our environment and energy sources have always interested me as a physics student. Nuclear fusion appears to hold the greatest potential for a long term globally available and permanently viable energy source with as low detriment to the environment as possible. It is also of course a pretty cool technology and a stimulating scientific and engineering challenge.
My project will involve researching anomalous electron transport using the Laser Thomson Scattering technique, all with a fusion like plasma generated and investigated on a table top experiment at the University of Liverpool. Laser Thomson Scattering requires powerful lasers to be shone into a plasma, the photons then scatter off the free electrons and are doppler shifted by the electrons velocities. By measuring the spectrum of the scattered photons information about the number density and velocity distribution (and therefore temperature) of the electrons in the plasma can be inferred. This is a very useful diagnostic in fusion research as it determines two products of the fusion triple product to high precision.